Stay in, stay well

This may be a challenging time – but you can use it to look after your wellbeing with our three-pillar plan to nourish body and mind.

Few of us are used to having to stay at home for extended periods. Yes, we may understand and accept the reasons right now. After all, the Covid-19 crisis is an unprecedented emergency and we’re having to think as a community, considering what we need to do to protect our society and health service, as well as look after our own health.

But isolating at home can take its toll on our physical and mental wellbeing. Being restricted to the home can make it harder to be active. Emotionally, the uncertainty of the current situation can mean we lose our sense of control and become anxious. Plus, we’re social animals so we can experience low mood when we don’t see others.

One way to manage all of this is to create some healthy new routines. You may not be able to go to your local gym or meet your friends for your weekly coffee date but there are ways to adapt for the time being so you support yourself physically and emotionally, while keeping yourself safe. In fact, you could even see this time as the perfect opportunity to build a few nourishing new habits.

We’ve put together a three-pillar plan, covering key areas of wellbeing:

PILLAR 1: Get moving

Boost your physical and mental health with some easy at-home exercise.

Regular physical activity has a positive impact on your physical and mental health. As well as keeping your body strong and healthy, it can give you more energy and raise levels of mood-boosting endorphins. And you don’t need to leave your home to do it. We’ve produced a simple circuit you can try at home, using everyday household items. You can start small and build up so you progress over time.

PILLAR 2: Calm your mind

Discover a simple technique for easing anxiety.

Anxiety is defined as “feelings of worry, nervousness or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome”.1 So if you’re feeling anxious at the moment, it’s not surprising. The situation is changing by the day. When we don’t have all the information, our brains try to fill in the blanks. And spending all your time at home, watching the news on TV or social media in a bid to fill those blanks, can further increase anxiety, giving you a constant drip-feed of worrying information. Plus, being unable to go out into the world and see others can make it harder to keep perspective.

So it’s important to take steps to soothe yourself. One proven method is mindfulness. If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s an approach that trains you to observe your thoughts without judgement and bring your attention back to the moment, rather than rehashing the past or worrying about the future. There are different types of mindfulness activities available online – why not have a look for them? Meanwhile, this short, simple mindful breathing exercise is a good starting point. And the more you do it, the easier it will become.

Click below to listen to a 3-minute mindful breathing exercise.

References
1 Sarasonm I., Sarason, B. Pierce, G. (1990). Anxiety, cognitive interference and performance. Journal of Social Behaviour and Personality, 5(2).
www.simplypsychology.org

PILLAR 3: Keep connected

Keep connected – maintain your relationships even when you’re social distancing.

Using an activity planner can be an effective way to ensure you are finding ways to connect while giving you a sense of routine.

Try to plan at least one activity each day. For each activity, make a proper plan to do it and note why it’s important to you. This will mean you’re more motivated to stick to your plan.

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